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8 Best Neighborhoods in Knoxville, TN

July 2, 2021

Knoxville is known as the Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, which features stunning views and a national park with 150 official hiking trails. The city is also home to the University of Tennessee (UT), which brings $1.7 billion to Tennessee's economy. UT fans are among the most devoted fans around. There's something for everyone in Knoxville, Whether you're rooting for the Tennessee Volunteers, taking in the nightlife Downtown, or relaxing in a historic neighborhood.

Ready to move to Marble City? Discover some of the best neighborhoods in Knoxville, TN.

1. Downtown Knoxville

Downtown Knoxville beckons urbanites looking for bars, restaurants, and live entertainment. However, you're still close to major highways and transportation, whether you're a college student or millennial getting to and from work. But if you want to walk, you can head out to The Market Square to take in a festival or concert. It's also a perfect spot for University of Tennessee students.

The district makes it easy to get around on foot and its central location and proximity to major interstate highways make traveling or commuting to other areas a breeze. The Market Square is home to many different events, and there's never a shortage of concerts, festivals, and other entertainment in the area. Parks are also plentiful, with Fort Kid, the World's Fair Park, and Sunsphere all located in the neighborhood.

2. South Knoxville

South Knoxville offers an idyllic gateway to the mountains and is separated from the city by the Tennessee River. Otherwise known as The SoKno, the neighborhood connects to Downtown by the Gay Street Bridge, the Henley Bridge, the James C. Ford Memorial Bridge, and the J. E. "Buck" Karnes Bridge.

SoKno has its share of shops and simple dining options but is desirable for its proximity to Downtown and a convenient commute. Families settle in for the local schools and reprieve from urban living without leaving the city limits.

3. Farragut

Farragut isn't exactly a Knoxville neighborhood but a desirable suburb. Locals commute to Downtown Knoxville with a short 17-mile commute. Leisure lovers play a round of golf at Willow Creek Golf Club or have a drink at Fox Den Country Club. When visitors roll into town, check out the free Farragut Folklife Museum. It's home to artifacts representing local history and Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, the town's namesake.

Farragut is popular with families for its parks, 10-miles of greenways, and 18 sports fields. Enjoy Knox County's The Cove at Concord Park with its public beach, paddleboard, and kayak rentals.

4. Inskip

The suburb of Inskip is situated just north of Sequoyah Hills and South Knoxville. Rents are more affordable than nearby Knoxville neighborhoods and make them desirable for apartment hunters on a budget. Plus, Inskip is very diverse, with a combination of well-heeled executives, manufacturers, and tech support occupations.

The laid-back community of Inskip includes a namesake park with picnic shelters, tennis courts, a junior disc golf course, a sand volleyball court, and family-friendly amenities. The Inskip Pool keeps residents cool on hot summer days, while Zoo Knoxville and Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center is just a quick drive over to East Knoxville.

The cozy residential area of Fountain City attracts renters looking for a laid-back lifestyle north of Downtown Knoxville. You won't find thriving nightlife, but you will enjoy diners, Mexican eateries, dive bars, and craft beer within the neighborhood's fabric. You'll also find live music and boutiques to browse.

The community is welcoming to bikers, and finding bike shops and outdoor gear is the norm. Bike or walk along the Tranquil Fountain City Lake and Park's paths. Visitors love the heart-shaped duck pond. There's also an arts center exhibiting local artists and photographers.

6. North Hills

The North Hills Historic District is located in North Knoxville and earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood rose to prominence during the 1920s and the rise of the automobile industry. As a result, more middle-class and upscale residents started moving out of the city center and into homes on the outskirts of Knoxville.

Today Craftsman and Colonial Revival homes bring charm to North Hills. Families and professionals settle into the neighborhood for its quiet vibe and idyllic lifestyle.

7. Old North Knoxville

Old North Knoxville Park sits just north of Downtown and was established in 1889. It saw a population boom with an influx of upper and middle-class professionals until the 1950s. The neighborhood went through a period of decline and neglect before the community took an interest in fixing up and restoring the historic homes. Today, there are over 400 houses and structures on the National Register of Historic Places.

This tranquil neighborhood was designed before automobiles, which is why it has ample sidewalks connecting the community for walkability. Old North Knoxville's historic homes don't have garages, and street parking is the norm. Residents frequently restore or fix up old houses for rent. The area is an attractive option for families and history lovers.

8. Island Home

Island Home Park is situated in the southeastern part of Knoxville along the Tennessee River. The community grew as a streetcar suburb in the early 1900s and still retains its historic charm. Renters will still find original Bungalow homes and vintage detailing. It's easy to see why the community landed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The cluster of historic homes lies along Island Home Boulevard, Spence Place, Fisher Place, and Maplewood. Island Home to Downtown Knoxville lies less than 3-miles from Downtown across the River. Families and young professionals spend their weekends exploring the city, gathering with neighborhoods, or enjoying the great outdoors at the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area.

Which Knoxville Neighborhood is Right for You?

Moving to Knoxville and ready to start looking for your new home? Browse Apartment List to find that dream Knoxville apartment.



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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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